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Topic: Audition for local Magic Circle
Message: Posted by: Roady (Feb 21, 2004 10:22AM)
Hi Everyone,

I do consider myself as new to magic. I've had an interest for years and been into it seriously (mainly cards) as a hobbyist for around two years now. Some people here had suggested that joining a club/society is a good way to progress, as well as meeting people to share ideas, etc.

I have recently sent off my application form to join my local Magic Circle. I will have to go through an initial interview, which is no problem, then I will have to perform for 10-15 minutess in front of all the members. After which they have to vote as to me being accepted or not as an associate member.

This fills me with terror! I always feel extremely nervous even before performing for a handful of people at the local bar, however, once I've done one effect I loose the nerves and everything usualy goes very well.

The problem is I have been using a lot of gimmicks until recently and I know these just wouldn't look good for an audition in a room full of accomplished magicians. (Invisible Deck, Rising Deck, Sevngali, Stripper, U3CM, to name a few.)

I have been working, for a while, on an Ambitious Card routine. I have been performing it since last week for various friends and got very good reactions, this has given me more confidence for using ungimmicked stuff. I am also working on forcing, d/lifts and controlling cards, I feel I'm getting better with all these.

I'm loosing sleep over this, as I don't know what is really going to expected of me? What the setting is going to be? (Am I going to have to stand up in front of a full room? This would be a problem as I would normally be standing with, say, a group of people around me or be at a table. I've never done stage stuff.)

I was thinking of doing "Stand Up Monte" (Garret Thomas). I know it's gimmicked but it involves a few slights and I feel very confident with it. Something involving a forced card turning up in an unusual place, possibly with a torn corner...and an Ambitious Card routine.

I'm sure many of you will have been through an audition and any advice would be appreciated.

Message: Posted by: Bob Johnston (Feb 21, 2004 10:54AM)

Most of the magicians watching you use some gimmicks. They will be far more interested in your transitions from trick to trick and your patter.

Here is some good advice:[list][*]Speak slowly and do not mumble. [*]Make eye contact often.[*]Do not rush. Even when professionals present to other magicians they go too fast. Many pros think that they look more skilled if they speed through a routine. Borrow any Michael Skinner tape from someone and you will understand why slowing down looks good.[/list]They will be interested in how comfortable you look and how familiar you are with what you are working with, not whether it is gimmicked.

Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Feb 21, 2004 02:09PM)
Being afraid of talking to a group of people in public is the most common of all phobias. You are 90 per cent ahead of the game, though, if you start to relax after you've begun.

About the only advice I can give—short of deep hypnotic therapy! LOL!—is to thoroughly know your material (moves AND patter) and you will be much more relaxed.

As for worrying about performing in front of a room full of accomplished magicians, as you say, I think you are giving them too much credit. Bob's post, above, is right in pointing out that most of the magicians watching use some type of gimmick.

Most important of all, remember that this is a magic club and the members/audience WANT you to succeed. And, if something should go wrong, where better for it to happen than in front of an audience of sympathetic people? Oh, sure; they may not seem it right now but don't forget: Nobody was born knowing this stuff; everybody was exactly where you are now at one point.

So don't worry; they are on YOUR side.
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Feb 21, 2004 03:43PM)
Hi Roady,

I agree with the above posters. Yes, you will be nervous but remember all of the people in the room watching you will have gone through the same thing. They will be sympathethic towards your plight and want to see you succeed.

If you come across as a friendly person and show genuine effort I'm sure you will have no problem. It's been my experience, that it's not so much the effects that are shown in an audition but your demeanor and patter. Showing an interest in further pursuing magic.

Magic clubs have a variety of people from hobbyist to pros. They will understand that you are nervous and I'm sure experienced the same thing themselves. I've often heard if you tell someone right away that you are bit nervous as this means a lot to you, it places people immediately at ease with you. They want to see you succeed.

When I had to present my three effects for my magic club I specifically remember one was The Coloring Book. No great sleight was required to do that effect and now causes me to chuckle that I used that one. You see it didn't matter that I was going to wow them with my sleight of hand, they were more interested in my patter to any effect almost anyone can do. Just presenting the effects (I can't remember what the other two were) showed that I was serious about magic in order to want to join a club.

The previous advice given—breathe slowly, speak clearly and don't rush is really good. If you don't feel 100% confident with one effect, don't do it! Better to choose a less difficult effect that you can do smoothly than a difficult one you chose to impress. (Remember, they've seen them all.)

I wish you the best of luck and please let us know how you did.

Message: Posted by: Roady (Feb 21, 2004 06:15PM)
Thank you all very much for your excellent advice, I feel so much better after reading them, I will probably sleep better tonight!

I haven't even been given a date for the audition yet, (the sooner the better, to get it over with, I hope) but I'll be sure to let you know when it comes around and how I get on.

Message: Posted by: Bananafish (Feb 22, 2004 05:24AM)
Hi Roady

When I first started going to my local Magic Society I must admit that the thought of the audition very nearly put me off joining. Up until then I had only ever performed to friends and family, and to be honest I even got nervous when doing that, so the thought of performing to a group of magicians was absolutely terrifying.

However, I really do urge you to persevere as I have got so much from being a member of the club. People here at The Café often debate books vs. DVDs as being the best method for learning magic, but nothing comes close to being shown a particular move or sleight in person.

I wouldn’t worry too much about what you choose to do in your audition. I certainly wouldn’t worry about trying to find something that you think they will have never seen before, or worry about whether or not you are using gimmicks. You should concentrate of the magic you currently know best and are most comfortable with. You should practice your routine so you can get it as smooth as possible, preferably in front of a friend, and remember to take it nice and slowly.

I believe that what Magic Societies are looking for at these auditions is more a degree of commitment rather than great professionalism or skill. After all, once you have become a member the doors to many secrets will be open to you and so you have to prove you are committed to the art and are not just a media driven secret hunter.

Once you have done this audition, the next time you have to perform anywhere will be that one step easier and once it is over you will find that you got actually got a huge buzz out of it (once you stop shaking that is).

Good luck and please let us know how it goes.

Message: Posted by: silverfire9 (Feb 22, 2004 10:59AM)
I know how you feel, Roady. I'm doing my audition today for my magic club, and I feel woefully unprepared. I know I'll do okay and that I don't have to really wow them, but I'm still a bit nervous about it. That's normal, though; I got a bit nervous before going out on stage when I was in drama in high school, too.
Message: Posted by: Roady (Feb 22, 2004 06:33PM)
These replies give me so much more confidence, I'll be sure to let you all know how it goes, when it comes around.

Silverfire9, let us know how it went for you, I'm sure it will have been OK.

I am looking forward to my audition, in a strange sort of way. I guess I just want to get it over really!

Just a matter of interest, what did you do, at your audition?

Message: Posted by: Chad C. (Feb 22, 2004 07:50PM)
I did a card trick, followed by a cup and balls routine, which led into a sponge ball routine. The sponge balls were the final load in the cup and balls routine. I also pulled all my props out of a square circle box. It went really well and I wasn't that nervous because I had been doing shows for about a year with those routines in them.

The important thing to remember is that they want you to succeed and be a part of the club, and that you don't have to try and trick them or "wow" them with something out of the ordinary. They know how most tricks are done so just come up with an original presentation and you're off to a great start.

Well that was long, I'll stop now.

Good Luck,
Message: Posted by: silverfire9 (Feb 22, 2004 08:26PM)
Well, I was voted in after my audition, so I'm assuming that means it went well. ;)

I did 3-Ring Circus, followed by a card to wallet (oops, no, it's in the pocket), Flip 'Em Out (a great coin routine by Ron Jaxon), then Jiggernaut. In case I didn't have enough to fill up the time there, I had a mismade bill, Notepad Surprise, Pyro Perception, and the Elevator. I like to have more than I need; that way, if I underestimate how much I need, I'm prepared. ;)

Unfortunately (in my view), I didn't really have a cohesive routine. It was just, "Every good magician does the linking rings/has a card trick/knows a coin trick/etc." But hey, it worked, and I can always improve it later. I can't really get a good routine until I decide on my personality, and I haven't yet.

Anyway, let us know how it goes, Roady, and good luck.
Message: Posted by: what (Feb 23, 2004 09:42AM)
I joined a magicians society last year. They had me do a trick. I was so nervous, but did not mess up. When I was done, a few of the magicians commented how much they liked my close up table (I had dressed up a wood TV stand as a maagic table). I'm sure that my cups & balls performance wasn't too impressive.

Bear in mind, that they are looking for an excuse to admit you to their club. So do your very best and favorite tricks and have fun.
Message: Posted by: abc (Feb 23, 2004 10:53AM)
My audition was horrible. I messed up twice out of 5 effects and they still let me join. I now understand why. Since then I have taught or maybe guided is a better word a few magicians one of them which have become very good, probably better than me.
OK better than me.
Understand this. I don't know if I speak for all magicians but I am sure I speak for many. We want to see that you are committed to the cause and won't quit after a few weeks or get despondent when the going gets tough. A lot of us make a living or a huge supplementation to our income from magic and we don't want a Cowboy ruining our market or our trade. That is why if the going rate for a show is 100 dollars an hour and some Cowboy comes along and does a show at 10 dollars an hour it takes jobs away from full time pros.
We want to know that you understand that and that you will practise and prepare to be worth 100 dollars an hour. If I teach you the trade and you beat me to a show because you are worth it GOOD FOR YOU and Ill be proud to lose the gig to you. If you don't and you beat me by taking 10 dollars it is not good and I want to avoid that.
You need to show that you can handle criticism and be teachable.
Sharing my knowledge is a pleasure if the student is willing to learn
You need to show that you are that and by what you are saying I am sure that you are so good luck relax and let us know what happened.
Just a footnote.
I did a poker deal and dealt the Royal flush hand to the spectator, which was embarrasing as my patter involved betting.
Then I did a force with a card in lemon and forced the wrong card!
If you do worse than that let me know.
My other 3 tricks was a color changing silk with a dia tube, Cig in jacket, and a multiplying Billiard ball routine.
Message: Posted by: JesterJ (Feb 24, 2004 09:51AM)
It's interesting. Our magic club doesn't have a formal audition for joining, but they mention that you will likely be expected to demonstrate some real interest in magic or you may not be as welcome. So, it's sort of the passive-aggressive audition;-).

Anyway, as an amateur, I was pretty nervous about the idea of needing to perform for what I perceived as a highly experienced audience. Over the last six months, I've performed a few things that I've been looking for tips on (and I've gotten some great help and compliments) and that's been sufficient for proving myself.